"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Remember and Keep Awake

I had an odd experience last night.  Exhausted, my head hit the pillow and I desperately wanted to fall asleep.  But, I just couldn't.  I was being kept awake by a very strange noise.  ...bird song.  It was long past 11:00 PM and yet, they were singing as if it was early morning.  Confused birds!?

Loud and lovely, they sang, as if the sun was on the horizon.  But it wasn't.

I was annoyed and tired.  For the longest time, I laid there frustrated, tossing and turning, with the beautiful bird chirped song pounding my tired ears!    And, then I prayed.  Drawn by God's Spirit, I was reminded of the fact that God's creation is His to use and speak through at all times.   So, I asked, Father is this for me?  Why are these birds singing at this time of night.  

I instantly felt a response well-up in my spirit, Stay awake, Stephanie.  

And, I knew He wanted me to remember.  He wanted me to be alert and awake in this sleepy, tired, busy, media-saturated,  lulled world!  I had just finished the Prayer of Examen before bed.  I had become very aware at how much of my day is spent truly unaware of God's Always-Presence.

Stay awake and remember.  These birds are awake when all around them everything is sleeping.  ...you need to be like these birds!    

I do forget and fall asleep.  I walk through life sometimes like a dream, half aware and sleepy.  One thing to the next ---and then on to the next thing.  I do forget.  Do you?

So easily, the distractions of every day life pull us away from the Real and the Eternal.  We fix our eyes on things seen, not the unseen.  Or, at least I do.

And, what a beautiful Truth is found in remembering our Lord, our Friend, our Brother!  I want to fix my eyes on Him:  Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of my faith.

Today, in an effort to remember and to remind my soul of sweet, real, awake and eternal things,  I begin a Lenten study of the cross and Christ's work there.  If you want to join me you can find free lessons to download and print from Tricia Rhodes' blog, The Soul at Rest   or you can buy her wonderful book with these lessons inside, Contemplating the Cross-A 40 Day Pilgrimage in Prayer.  
"Today and every day, God the Father extends an invitation---to actors and mechanics, schoolteachers and bright-eyed children, preachers and bartenders, accountants and garbage collectors, gamblers and homemakers.  It is an eternal unchanging summons to kneel in the shadow of that cross, where He sacrificed His only Son, and made it our souls' home.  God beckons us to gaze in awe at what we see on Calvary's mount."  Tricia Rhodes, Contemplating the Cross.  
Thank you God for your pursuit of me, your pursuit of your sons and daughters!  Thank you that you pursued us at creation, in the garden, last night and today.  Thank you Father for the deep, lasting, generous gift of Your Son's life.  Thank you Jesus for entering in, pushing through, walking here and loving me so much.  Thank you Holy Spirit that You will lead me into all Truth and teach me about my God!! 
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